Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Symposium #453
Empirically-Based Intervention Procedures: Research on Improving Students with Disabilities’ School Performance in the Areas of Spelling, Reading Fluency, Disruptive and Off-Task Behavior
Tuesday, May 31, 2005
11:30 AM–12:50 PM
Williford B (3rd floor)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: William J. Sweeney (University of South Dakota)
Discussant: Michael C. Lambert (Western Washington University)
Abstract: With the current initiative contained within the 2001 Elementary and Secondary School Act (i.e., No Child Left Behind) as well as the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disability Education Act, a greater need than ever is present for an empirically based technology of effective educational practices for both students in general education as well as in special education. The three studies contained in this symposium serve as models of applied research in the schools to address important academic and motivational issues of students with disabilities. The first study investigates the spelling performance of students who are deaf with characteristics of learning disabilities by incorporating a SEE/COVER/WRITE/COMPARE multi-sensory spelling procedure. The second study evaluates the oral reading fluency of high students with emotional and behavioral disorders through the use a repeated readings procedure. The final study looks at improving the off-task and disruptive behavior of high school students with emotional and behavioral disorders. All three of these study address important behaviors of concern with students who exhibit academic and motivational problems in their classrooms. Further, all three studies address important issues related to empirically based interventions and true accountability of student’s performance in the schools. Implications for pedagogical practice, measurably effective instruction, and teacher training are discussed through out this symposium.
Incorporating a See/Cover/Write/Compare Multi-Sensory Intervention Procedure to Improve the Spelling Performance of Students Who Are Deaf and Exhibit Characteristics of Learning Disabilities
MONICA I. SOUKUP (Augustana College), William J. Sweeney (University of South Dakota)
Abstract: Spelling is an important component in literacy development. Spelling ability affects the quality of a student’s composition assignment and affects a student’s performance in other academic areas. Identification of students who demonstrate poor spelling performance is essential to developing strategies that will assist the student in remediation of difficulties with spelling. Research has identified many strategies that are effective in helping students to improve spelling performance. Among the strategies that have been cited in a review of the literature are the multi-sensory approach and See-Cover-Write-Compare approach. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of using a multi-sensory approach and See-Cover-Write-Compare approach to assist students who are deaf with learning disabilities in improving spelling performance. Using a single-subject design with replication across subjects, this study will determine the effectiveness of a See-Cover-Write-Compare multi-sensory approach to improve written spelling performance.
The Use of the Repeated Readings Strategy to Improve the Oral Reading Fluency of Four High School Students with Emotional and Behavior Disorders
ZACHARY J. DEVINE (South Washington County Public Schools), William J. Sweeney (University of South Dakota), Paul Malanga (University of South Dakota), Patrick Wempe (University of South Dakota)
Abstract: Students diagnosed with emotional and behavior disorders drop out of high school at a rate higher than any other disability category or student population. The students that exhibit the most severe emotional and behavioral problems are typically served in a self-contained classroom setting. Due to the severe emotional and behavioral issues this student population usually receives more behavioral instruction than academic instruction. However, students diagnosed with emotional and behavior disorders typically drop out of school because of academic difficulty, therefore making it imperative that the teachers of this student population use interventions that are research based and proven to remediate academic skill deficits. This study examines the effects of the repeated reading strategy on four high school students labeled with emotional or behavior disorders. A trend analysis was used to examine the celeration values related to the number of words read correctly or incorrectly per minute of each student. Results on the Standard Celeration Chart indicated substantial improvements for all four students that participated in this study through the use of the repeated readings strategy to improve oral reading fluency. A discussion is provided to describe the data and implications for future research.
Token Economies: Decreasing Classroom Disruptions of High School Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
PATRICIA R. WARD (Sioux Falls Public Schools), William J. Sweeney (University of South Dakota), Paul Malanga (University of South Dakota), Patrick Wempe (University of South Dakota), Gary Zalud (University of South Dakota)
Abstract: Research shows that high school students with emotional and behavior disorders with externalizing behavior problems are at high risk for a variety of academic, social, vocational, and conduct related issues in the public schools. Further, high school students with emotional and behavioral disorders tend to exhibit behaviors associated with poor motivation, self-management, decision making, and academic engagement in a classroom setting. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness of a token economy for improving on-task behavior and academic engagement when used with high school students diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disorders. The intervention, i.e., token economy, is expected to decrease classroom disruptions (off-task behavior) while increasing on-task behavior and work completion. The experimental designed used was an ABAB reversal design with follow-up probes to evaluate the effectiveness of the token economy with participants. The results, implications, and potential future research opportunities related to the uses of this intervention with this population of students will be discussed in this presentation.



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